Archive for January, 2010

Midnight visitors: How do your kids wake you at night?

I woke up on Monday night to Rose standing next to the bed. I don’t think she even tried to wake me. She just stood there until I finally woke up from her presence.

I generally wake up pretty friendly. I asked her what was wrong. She said she had an earache.

A few months back when Michael was out of town I fell asleep around 10 p.m. I woke up around 1:30 in the morning with Rose rubbing lotion into my feet. She scared the crap out of me. I did yell when I woke up to someone touching me. When I stopped yelling she said to me “Your feet are very, very dry.”

I guess she couldn’t sleep, but I’m not sure what moved her to give me a foot massage.

What worried me about that scenario was how long it took me to wake up with someone touching me! She was onto the second foot!! Apparently I have no hope of waking up if someone broke in.

Walsh just crawls into bed. He doesn’t try to rouse us. Lilina can’t climb in by herself so she just stands by the bed repeating “mom” “mom” “mom” “mom” …

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Good idea, bad idea: Taking 2-year-old to gyno exam?

I called last week to schedule my annual gynecological exam with my midwife. I was surprised when they said she had an opening for that Friday. I hadn’t planned to schedule it that early because I wanted more time to lose holiday weight, and I wanted to do it when the 2-year-old was at mother’s morning out.

But I decided not to procrastinate and took the appointment.

I brought books, Bendaroos and snacks to keep her busy while we were waiting and during the appointment.

She was a little bit loud in the waiting room but not too bad. She liked watching me pee in cup and also enjoyed me stripping all the way down to weigh myself. (Don’t need any excess weight on that scale.)

When the nursed pulled out a needle to draw blood the baby asked her “Is that an allergy shot?” She’s used to going to the allergy clinic with me. But then she cried when they pricked my finger.

My 2-year-old was fairly obsessed with the stirrups on the exam table. She kept bossing me to put my feet in them …

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Is online homework fair? Is it effective?

I am noticing that more and more frequently our teachers are asking the kids to go to different Web sites to do their homework. They are still assigning written homework every day, but the kids are also asked to do stuff online daily.

And while it’s not a problem for our family to pull up a reference site or play math games online, I have been thinking about families that may not have the luxury of a computer or a fast internet connection at home. I’m not sure what those families are supposed to do?

The kids love doing their homework online, so I’m also wondering if it makes homework too fun? Will they be able to stick it out later on hard paper assignments that don’t have immediate rewards and bells and whistles?

Here are some examples of the online work the kids are routinely asked to do:

  1. Almost all of the teachers at our school have extensive individual school sites where they link to reference material and other sites. For example, Rose researched a report on habitats off …

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Best books for kids: Newbery, Caldecott winners announced

If you’re anything like me you wander around the children’s section of your local library hoping to find jewels of reading pleasure for your kids. Well, wander and wonder no more!

The American Library Association awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal today. The medals recognize the best children’s book and best illustrated children’s book of the previous year. And the winners are:

From the American Library Association’s Web site:

2010 Newbery Medal Winner
“The 2010 Newbery Medal winner is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot.”

2010 Honor Books

“Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books, Farrar, …

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What’s the etiquette on divorce dating?

I got a note from an old friend saying some divorce dating topics on the blog would be helpful to her. Here’s what she wrote:

“Not sure if you know that I a divorced mom of 2 …  I have been on my own for several years and have been very careful with dating, integrating etc…  I have been dating someone for over a year and am now starting to integrate the kids into the picture.  I have been very slow in the process as I do not believe in parading men in and out of my kids life, etc…

Would love to hear thoughts on…

1.  How long should you wait to introduce the kids to someone your dating? …

2.  How long should you wait to have “spend the nights” with the person you are dating and your kids.  Should you have a talk with your kids beforehand….  Should you ease into it… have the person start with the couch and then move to the bedroom???

3.  Steps to make sure that the person you are dating is a good fit for you and for your kids.  I do not think people think this through…  Can they …

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Are you OK with anti-molestation talks at school, church?

Apparently January is the month of anti-molestation talks at schools and churches. My kids have two scheduled this month.

I went yesterday with a friend to review the material that the kids will be shown at our elementary school.

(I’ve never actually reviewed the material before. I guess I trusted that the school wouldn’t present them with anything too crazy. I trust our principal very much. But my friend was making the effort to go in and invited me. So I went.)

The third graders will watch three video tapes literally from the 1970s. You have to get over the terrible ’70s clothes and production values (I keep waiting for Tootie and Blair to pop out!) but after that the tapes are OK. (They were also made in Canada so there are lots of aboots for about.)

The first tape was not offensive in any way but pretty vague. I said to my friend after watching it, I’m not sure the kids will understand what they are getting at.

The second tape jumps right in and throws out the word “sexual …

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How families can help Haitian quake victims

I’ve been crying watching the news coverage of the Haitian earthquake. They are now estimating that up to 500,000 may be dead. Here’s the latest AP story from our front. (Keeping checking the AJC front for updates.)

I wanted to make sure that everyone saw the information from the AJC’s front page about how you can help these Haitian families recover.

From the AJC’s front-page coverage:

If you’re looking to help after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a variety of charitable organizations are collecting donations to assist.


UNICEF: Which helps children in humanitarian crisis

Atlanta Red Cross: Provides humanitarian relief

American Red Cross: Emergency response organization

CARE: Atlanta-based humanitarian organization fighting global poverty

Help Haiti now: Organization which provides food, water, medicine, and educational support to the poor in Haiti.

Hope for Haiti : An organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life …

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Should hair length be regulated by school dress codes?

4-year-old Taylor Pugh says he's growing his hair out to give to cancer patients. His school says it's not OK and suspended him. (AP)

Four-year-old Taylor Pugh says he's growing his hair out to give to cancer patients. His school says it's not OK and suspended him. (AP)

A 4-year-old boy has been suspended from his pre-K class in Texas since late November because the school says his hair is too long and violates its dress code.

Taylor Pugh has been separated from his class and sent to the library to study with a teacher’s aide since Nov. 24.

The school board did offer a compromise on Monday where the boy could braid his hair and pin it up. But the parents rejected it because the mother says her son likes his long and the braiding would make his scalp bleed according to the Associated Press.

From The New York Times:

“The boy’s parents, Delton Pugh and Elizabeth Taylor, have argued that it is unfair to punish Taylor for his longish locks; it suggests, they say, that the district cares more about appearances than education.”

“ ‘I don’t think it’s right to hold a child down and force him to do something,’ Mr. …

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Rate Kate Gosselin’s new hair and new guy!

I ran across these photos last night of Kate Gosselin out to lunch with a man. She has a new long luxurious hair-do and a very young man with a bad ski jacket at her side.

For your gawking pleasure, check out this link to see the hair and the guy and then click back to discuss.

I think Kate is a very pretty woman and the hair is flattering. (She used to have long hair when she and Jon first got married.) I’m sure she needed a change after getting divorced and this helped her feel like a new woman.

However, I don’t have any idea how a mother of 8 is going to care for that hair style unless she has completely relegated the child care over to nannies. That is some high-maintenance hair that I don’t think most mothers would have time to maintain or make look good. I would be sticking that up in a pony tail all the time, which pretty much defeats the purpose.

On to the man: I  guess she just wants to laugh and feel good because certainly a man of that age couldn’t possible be …

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Are your teens using steroids?

Mark McGwire came clean yesterday admitting he used steroids off and on for nearly a decade during his career as a major league ball player.  Here’s the link to the AP story.

McGwire became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez last February.

All these pro players admitting to steroid use makes me wonder how prevalent steroid use is in high schools today.

When I was younger my brother was very into working out. He loved Hulk Hogan, Rocky and Arh-nold of course!  He spent a ton of time in the weight room at our high school and talked frequently about other guys saying they did steroids.  It wasn’t just a few guys. It seemed like a lot of big guys in our high school said they were using. I always wondered if the coaches knew.

My brother used the legal muscle building shakes from the health food store, but to my knowledge NEVER took any steroids. I think the needles really creeped him …

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